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Volume 207, 2018
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Chiral self-assembly of fullerene clusters on CT-DNA templates

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Herein we discuss the differential interaction of three monosubstituted fullerene derivatives possessing pyridinium, aniline or phenothiazine end groups (F-Py, F-An and F-PTz, respectively) with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA), probed via spectroscopic and imaging techniques. The pyridinium derivative, F-Py becomes molecularly dissolved in 10% DMSO–PBS and interacts with CT-DNA via groove binding and electrostatic interactions, leading to the initial condensation of CT-DNA into micrometer sized aggregates and subsequent precipitation. On the other hand, the aniline derivative F-An, which is reported to form nanoclusters of 3–5 nm size, interacts with DNA through ordered, chiral assemblies on the CT-DNA template, thus perturbing the highly networked structure of CT-DNA to form nanonetworks, which eventually transform into condensed aggregates. The binding interactions between CT-DNA and F-An nanoclusters were established via UV-Vis, AFM and TEM analysis, and the chiral nature of the fullerene nanocluster assemblies on CT-DNA was confirmed by the presence of induced circular dichroism that was exhibited around the 250–370 nm region, corresponding to F-An nanocluster absorption. In contrast, the phenothiazine derivative F-PTz, which forms larger nanoclusters of ∼70 nm size in 10% DMSO–PBS, exhibited only weak interactions with CT-DNA without affecting its network structure. These results demonstrate the role of the hydrophobic–hydrophilic balance in the design of DNA interacting fullerene derivatives by controlling their cluster size and interactions with CT-DNA, and are significant in applications such as DNA condensation, gene delivery and dimension controlled nanomaterial fabrication.

Graphical abstract: Chiral self-assembly of fullerene clusters on CT-DNA templates

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The article was received on 18 Sep 2017, accepted on 05 Oct 2017 and first published on 05 Oct 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00196G
Citation: Faraday Discuss., 2018,207, 459-469
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    Chiral self-assembly of fullerene clusters on CT-DNA templates

    S. Kulala Vittala and J. Joseph, Faraday Discuss., 2018, 207, 459
    DOI: 10.1039/C7FD00196G

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